Chapter 1: The Individual and Society Chapter Highlights: ? The primary theme of sociology is that our everyday thoughts and actions ar the product of a comple interplay betwen massive social forces and personal characteristics. We can't understand the relationship between individuals and societies without understanding both. ? The sociological imagination is the ability to see the impact of social forces on our private lives-- an awareness that our lives lie at the intersection of personal biography and societal history. ? Rather than study what goes on within people, sociologists study what goes on between people, whether individuals, groups, organizations or entire societies. Sociology forces us to look outside the tight confines of our individual personalities to understand the phenomena that shape us. Key Terms: 1. Altruistic suicide: Type of suicide that occurs where ties to the group or community are considered more important than individual identity. 2. Anomic suicide: Type of suicde that occurs wehn the structure of society is weakened or disrupted and people feel hopeless and disillusioned. 3. Comparative method: Research technique that compares existing official statistics and historical records across groups to test a theory about some social phenomenon. 4. Egoistic suicide: Type of suicide that occurs in settings where the individual is emphasized over group or community connections. 5. Individualistic explanation: Tendency to attribute people's ahievements and failures to their personal qualities. 6. Sociological imagination: Ability to see the impact of social forces on our private lives. 7. Sociology: The systematic study of human societies.
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